The global e-commerce industry has its eyes fixated on China, whose digital shopping market saw an impressive $2 trillion in transactions in 2014. Indeed, research released last December by eMarketer predicted that China would take over the US as the world’s largest e-commerce market by 2018.
But new revelations from the ballooning Chinese industry highlight just how crucial B2B operations in the nation are to these rising e-commerce numbers. According to iResearch data, B2B sales accounted for 70 percent of China’s 2014 e-commerce last year.
As a result, experts predict that the nation will see growing a B2B service providers market, including services like supply chain finance and logistics.
Much of the e-commerce frenzy is due to market giant Alibaba, which saw a high-profile and record-breaking IPO last year. While the company certainly accounts for significant growth both in the B2C and B2B e-commerce industries, iResearch concluded that small- and medium-sized enterprises will also pay a crucial part in the B2B e-commerce expansion over the next four years. According to its findings, SMEs contributed to 50 percent of China’s B2B e-commerce in 2014, compared with 23.4 percent of large enterprises.
Despite China’s sizeable B2B market, data suggests that the starts of other market industries are quickly rising. iResearch predicts that online shopping online-to-offline operations – including beauty care, wedding, catering and leisure services – will quickly become the two fastest-growing industries in digital commerce by 2017. The industry saw a 21.3 percent growth in 2014 compared with 2013, the data showed.
On a global scale, business-to-business procurement officials are increasingly demanding a B2C online shopping experience from suppliers. It’s a buyer behavior trend experts say will require suppliers to strengthen their e-commerce offerings, including investing in easy-to-use websites and online research tools for online B2B shoppers.